While attending Grambling State University, I found one of GSU’s hidden treasures that many faculty and students may not know about or even remember. This hidden treasure used to be one of the biggest well-known moneymakers for the university of its time.
Alone, it brought in more profit to the university than any other department at that time. The Aquaculture Department taught students to fish and they even provided equipment for them to fish. This hidden pond is a wonderful, but forgotten hidden treasure.
This pond is a piece of GSU’s history, that has been completely abandoned by the university and should be put to use as it was back in the days it was up and running. “The Aquaculture Department was very beneficial not only to the students, but to the surrounding communities as well” said by Tronnie Lee, former faculty member of the department.
When the Aquaculture was up and running, many students would get the chance to do a lot of hands on learning. Students who never even came close to fishing or even close to cleaning a fish would learn in a matter of minutes.
Lee explained how he along with faculty and students processed roughly around 700-800 pounds of fish every two days. As a lesson some of the students would come and analyze the tiger catfish eggs from birth until they are ready to be put in the pond. Not only were students and faculty having fun, but they also gained learning experiences. They even held fishing derbies for students and the people around the community to enter. These competitions were held to gain student involvement within the department.
Since these ponds had not been in commission for about ten years, it has gained notice by other universities Not only did this historical site gain recognition in Grambling, but other universities were interested in purchasing this pond about two years ago. After Dr. Payne Montgomery, the director of the Agriculture/Aquaculture Department, retired, Grambling’s hidden treasure slowly deteriorated and was shut down within six months.
With this site not in use nowadays, faculty and people from around the community suggest we should bring the program back because it would be great for the students in addition to the university began as an agriculture education based school. Without the program, it feels like Grambling has thrown away a part of its history. With that being said, many feel that we should come together, clean and rebuild our history so to speak.
This could be something big for GSU, not only this site, but others around campus. We should bring back our historical sites to build a better Grambling State University!